Brooke here with a brief progress report on the pool:
The day after the Great Tadpole Wrangle, Brown got out the pressure washer and went nuts on the stairs. I shoveled out buckets of gunk*and the rocky debris that had fallen in during the brick haul.
The plan is to work backwards towards the deep end, as pressure-washing the cement changes the surface texture from “oil slick” to “dry sunny sidewalk” and we can actually walk around down there now without busting a knee wide open. But the weekend will be nasty – that’s set aside for tackling the black gunk cesspool in the deep end. I am very, very lucky the stores don’t tend to carry women’s sizes in rubber workboots; Brown is very, very unlucky they do carry men’s.
After the tadpoles are rescued, the gunk is removed, and the entire pool pressure-washed, I’ll scrub the tiles with a muriatic acid mixture (it will be easier to clean them while they are lying flat). Then I’ll rinse the tiles, scrape them off off the wall, and give them a vinegar bath to dissolve the old crumbly grout. Then, more estimates on repairs. We’re hoping all of this work cuts the labor costs in half, plus whatever we might have saved by reusing the tiles for the pool. No regrets on recycling those tiles – they are classic.
* I keep saltwater aquariums so I know exactly what the gunk is made of, but I’m pretending I don’t so I won’t go crazy and run screaming through the streets while dousing myself in bleach.